12 Monkeys: New Year Near In ‘Year Of The Monkey’?


Season 2 of Syfy’s ’12 Monkeys’ kicks off with a bang and never lets up, resulting in an enjoyable hour of entertainment.

Year of the Monkey is a high-octane, extremely snappy, hour of television. In fact, there’re more than a handful of delicious bits in the SyFy second-season opener of 12 Monkeys to get your meaty paws on for enjoyment. So let’s stop throwing bananas and get down to peeling the post-apocalyptic show’s recent episode (Monkey puns are FUN!!!).

Let’s start with the bad, or rather not solid part of Year of the Monkey. In terms of direction, Year of the Monkey is lacking on the potassium, to say the least (Ok, ok I’m done people). Directed by David Grossman, 12 Monkey’s latest episode doesn’t feature any remarkable composition or swift camera-work. I didn’t really expected much in terms of direction though, but I had to report it due to my love of the art. 

But look, this is a Syfy show, and while I’m in no way knocking the cable-channel mainstay, it is what it is. Grossman, more than likely, didn’t have time or money to do anything but simplistically cover the script. It’s a little-seen show on a little-watched network. While it may just be a job to Glassman-can you blame him if so?- it’s still serviceable. It’s hard to determine this exactly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my suspicions ended up being founded.

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Now for what is remarkable about Year of the Monkey. The script, written by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, is a wholly satisfying, and immensely shocking, hour of entertainment. This internal revelation came to me for many reasons.

Picking up after season one, when Cassandra was sent into the future by Cole , the script moves at a breakneck pace. For anyone who has seen 12 Monkeys before, or for those just getting into the series for that matter, the show takes place in many timelines. This plot device causes the story to move extremely fast. Now that we have central characters in two different times, working for the same goal (destroying the future debilitating virus), the story moves fast and is seemingly seamless.

Also, the dialog is just expertly written and poetically constructed. I know what you’re thinking, but seriously, there are some great lines spoken in Year of the Monkey. I counted about six lines that I thought “wow that was thought out and amazingly appropriate”. The show is also funny at the just the right times. Don’t believe me? Give Year of the Monkey a spin, currently on SyFy platforms everywhere.

The acting is also great. While the show isn’t strongly acted in classical terms (no high-level monologues and the like), the chemistry between characters are extremely realistic and enjoyable.; especially between main-character James Cole and his best friend, and former Army of the 12 Monkeys associate, Jose Ramsey. It was amazing to see the two cut up as they’re simultaneously trying to save mankind from extinction.

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The Verdict:

Year of the Monkey is surly worth your time. While the show does get a little confusing in it’s timeline (not this episode but the series as a whole but that’s arguably the fun of the show) it’s still worth an hour of your life. it’s a well-written episode that features great character interactions.

So will Cole and Jose be successful? Did Cassandra get the help she needed in the future? Will Jennifer get her wish and have someone stop her from causing the destruction of humanity? Watch Year of the Monkey to find out. After you do, come back here and we’ll discuss the second episode of the season, Primaryonly on SyFy. Check out a preview of next week’s entry below and see you then you crazy monkeys.

The Grade: B

Enjoying Syfy’s 12 Monkeys? Did or didn’t like what Year of the Monkey had to offer? Sound off with your comments below and let’s get as many monkeys as we can to get the conversation going. Don’t forget to tune into 12 Monkeys Mondays at 9/8c, only on Syfy.